Day of the Dead Calaca Serving Pan Dulce

Day of the Dead Calaca Serving Pan Dulce

This charming paper mache Day of the Dead folk art figure was made by the Bobadilla brothers of Mexico City. I’ve talked about these brothers before because they are so good at capturing the joy the deceased spirits feel when they return for their annual visit during Dia de los Muertos…always smiling and participating in the activities of life that they enjoyed when they were alive! This skeleton fellow loves pan dulce–don’t we all?

I am not the only one recognizing their talent. Their recognizable style and quality pieces are found in several museums throughout Mexico.

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Frida Kahlo Painting, “The Two Fridas”

This is a unique piece of Frida Kahlo and Day of the Dead inspired Mexico folk art! It is made of paper mache, fabric, wood and colored pencil. One of the pieces is, “The Two Fridas” and the other is, “Frida With Monkeys.” The colored pencil drawings are as amazing as the papel mache Fridas…Click on the photo to take you to the Online Shop. Enjoy!


Build a Day of the Dead Ofrenda to Honor your Departed Loved Ones

I wrote this last year but it’s still current! The only thing I want to add is:
1. We’re building a community ofrenda in the shop this year. Bring or email your photos of loved ones (or pets) to info@zinniafolkarts.com to be included in the ofrenda.
2. We’re offering some fun craft projects on Saturday, October 26, 2013 for adults and kids to decorate the ofrenda–make paper flowers & terracotta skulls that are similar to sugar skulls
3. I’m doing my “What is Day of the Dead” presentation on Friday, November 1 from 6-7:30 at the shop, 826 West 50th. Space is limited so you must register at info@zinniafolkarts.com.
Enjoy!

Zinnia Folk Arts

 

Day of the Dead Art Ofrenda

Are you unsure about how to build an ofrenda for the upcoming Days of the Dead? Here are a couple of examples from one of my trips to Mexico during Dia de los Muertos. Every ofrenda is unique and personal so don’t worry about whether you are doing it correctly or not. The main idea is to make an inviting altar that will entice the spirits of your departed loved ones to return to enjoy a few hours with you over November 1 and 2.  Mexicans believe  the smells of the flowers, food and copal incense are especially  enticing. And the color of orange and magenta is traditional throughout Mexico. So here are a few ideas of what to include:

1. Marigolds: the color and smell of marigolds is believed to attract the spirits. But if you live in a northern climate, like I do, the marigolds are long…

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Zinnia Mexican Folk Arts Shop

I thought you might be interested in the most recent look at  how we like to display Mexican folk art at Zinnia Folk Arts shop! We wanted to move the holiday decorations out so I decided to put the vintage (1960’s White Period) Heron Martinez tree of life in the front window and build a colorful support cast of a variety of Mexican crafts. The color is so welcome during these grey days in Minnesota…it’s actually raining today. Enjoy the photos and of course, if you’re in Minneapolis, stop in. We’ll be waiting for you. Saludos!

Zinnia Folk Arts Shop, Minneapolis MN

Zinnia Mexican Folk Arts, Minneapolis MN

Zinnia Folk Arts, Minneapolis, MN

Zinnia Folk Arts Shop, Minneapolis MN

Zinnia Mexican Folk Arts Shop, Minneapolis MN


Remembering the Dead Publicly during Dias de los Muertos

Day of the Dead Flowers

Public installations of folk art take many forms in Mexico. As I’ve said before, folk art is handmade, it is regional, it’s made of material available in one’s community, the methods are passed down from generation to generation and it expresses a community belief or value.

Here a simple bouquet of cockscomb attached to a traffic light in the middle of downtown Puebla not only provides passersby with a dab of beauty, but reminds everyone who passes, that a life was taken at this location. Someone died here. It raises our awareness that death is out there.  In Mexico, death is not shoved into the back room. Death is a part of life and the Days of the Dead are a time to remember, both privately and publicly, those loved ones who have died.

Dia de los Muertos flowers in Puebla

Someone else died here.

One sees bouquets and shrines built along the roads and highways of Mexico all year long. But during these special days of November 1 and 2, spontaneous eruptions of bouquets of marigolds and cockscomb appear in the cities and pueblos,  reminding all of us that we are a mortal people and that life goes on after death.


Build a Day of the Dead Ofrenda to Honor your Departed Loved Ones

 

Day of the Dead Art Ofrenda

Are you unsure about how to build an ofrenda for the upcoming Days of the Dead? Here are a couple of examples from one of my trips to Mexico during Dia de los Muertos. Every ofrenda is unique and personal so don’t worry about whether you are doing it correctly or not. The main idea is to make an inviting altar that will entice the spirits of your departed loved ones to return to enjoy a few hours with you over November 1 and 2.  Mexicans believe  the smells of the flowers, food and copal incense are especially  enticing. And the color of orange and magenta is traditional throughout Mexico. So here are a few ideas of what to include:

1. Marigolds: the color and smell of marigolds is believed to attract the spirits. But if you live in a northern climate, like I do, the marigolds are long gone! You can substitute yellow/gold mums or the magenta colored brain flower (if you can find it!). In the shop, I use lots of artificial marigolds that I collect at thrift shops over the year.

2. Candles: Whatever candles you have will suffice. I like to put out the Lux candles with the image of the Virgin on them because they color combination is so inviting. I also purchase the super long ivory colored candles in the Mexican market whenever I can so I carry those in the shop. I use them during my presentations about Dia de los Muertos 101 to give a little taste of the feeling in the cemetery on those special nights of November 1 & 2.

3. Papel picado: “Picked” paper or the cutout paper flags are found at all Mexican fiestas. The papel picado for Muertos usually has images of the catrina or skulls or says, “Dia de los Muertos” on it. It comes in multiple colors and multiple sizes. We carry it at the shop.

4. Sugar skulls: These are fabulous folk art pieces sold in the sugar markets that pop up about now in towns all over Mexico. Toluca has one of the largest and most famous but many cities have them and one can find lots of charming, unique, beautiful skulls made out of sugar. You can have the name of your loved one written across the forehead or not. I carry gorgeous sugar skulls made by a Mexican-American woman in the Twin Cities because they are so fragile and hard to get home in one piece.

Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull

5. Photos and favorite objects: Ofrendas include photographs of the deceased which in conjunction with the smells and colors of the flowers, candles and incense help the spirits determine where they should go to reunite and commune with their relatives. Many people also include the favorite foods or beverages of the departed.  For children, a favorite toy may be placed on the altar.

I hope you enjoy building your own unique ofrenda to remember and honor your loved ones who have passed away. If you have any questions, just let me know! Click on any of the photos to take you to our online shop or stop in at 826 West 50th in Minneapolis.

Dia de los Muertos Art Ofrenda


Day of the Dead Skeletons Do Everything in the Afterlife

Paper mache day of the dead figures